Within the framework of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), the European Commission focuses on economic development programmes which aim at
- closing job qualification gaps
- improving employability through vocational training
- supporting job creation and self-employment opportunities, focusing on strengthening micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
ARCHIPELAGO was developed by sequa in cooperation with EUROCHAMBRES, the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and CPCCAF, the Association of French-speaking Chambers in Africa and Europe.
ARCHIPELAGO is an innovative vocational training programme aimed at strengthening the employability of the workforce and the entrepreneurial capacity of MSMEs in the 12 target countries of the Sahel and Lake Chad regions.
The programme has organised two calls for proposals to select, support and finance relevant partnership projects that contribute to the programme’s objectives. Each partnership project has a duration of 20 and 32 months and disposes of a budget between EUR 400,000 and EUR 600,000. A total of 20 projects were selected and contracts signed for projects in the following countries: Burkina Faso (2 projects), Cameroon (4), Chad (2), Ghana (2), Ivory Coast (2), Mali (1), Mauritania (2), Niger (1) and Senegal (4).
The 20 funded projects will be implemented by international consortia comprising a total of 45 partners from Africa and 40 partners from Europe and will focus on the creation of employment opportunities in a wide range of economic sectors, including agriculture, agro-industry, hotels, construction, electricity, solar energy, textiles, ports and crafts.
The direct target group of the projects are young people and vulnerable groups with low employability or unemployed, with particular attention on women and returnees (final beneficiaries). Other target groups are formal and informal (in the process of formalisation) MSMEs as well as chambers and associations, training centres, companies organising dual training modules and organisations dedicated to the socio-professional integration of returnees.
ARCHIPELAGO's approach is that of an institutional partnership: European chambers and associations connect with African chambers, associations and educational institutions in order to impart important knowledge and skills to young people in close cooperation with the private sector and in line with the needs of the labour market. This placement is to take place both in vocational training centres and at the workplace. Promoting employment through demand-oriented further training is an important contribution to socio-economic stabilisation in the countries.
ARCHIPELAGO has been developed by sequa in cooperation with EUROCHAMBRES, the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and CPCCAF, the Association of French-speaking Chambers in Africa and Europe.